Saturday, January 30, 2010

Snow Day!!

"Make a joyful noise unto the Lord, all ye lands. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. " Psalm 100:1,2 KJV"" " Wow, we have had another great snow! These are few and far between here in North Georgia! On Friday around noon the snow started coming down and coming down hard. We had a blast. As you can see, we had to be creative in the department of sleds. Our pool float served double duty as a snow sled and it did a pretty fine job.
Of course, no snow day is complete without the snow angel!

This was taken on Saturday. Tonight is supposed to be in the teens, so the weather stations are calling for ice on the roads in the morning. As for right now, though, we are snug in the house, fixing to enjoy chili and a movie! I love snuggling under a quilt watching a movie with my family!

I hope everyone has enjoyed a super fantastic Saturday!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recent Events

Last weekend we had a birthday celebration for all the December, January, and February birthdays on my side of the family. We have decided this year to meet every three months to celebrate everyone's birthdays. We started with December because my niece and nephew have December birthdays. We had so much fun visiting. This is my sister-in-law, one of our January birthday people. We had a great time chatting about recipes and couponing. This is my dad, mom, and younger sister. It was great to get to visit with my sister. She lives in Knoxville, not too far away, but we just don't get to visit as often as I would like. She is enjoying motherhood with a 10 month old little boy. Sweet as pie!
About two or three weeks ago, we had a dusting of the white stuff. This was the second time this winter! That doesn't happen alot down here in Georgia. We have enjoyed getting even just a dusting:)

The boys and I watched a documentary today about The Donner Party. What a tragedy for those people. I didn't remember studying this in school, so the story was just amazing to me. It is amazing what some of the westward expansion emigrants went through.

We are enjoying our American History study. We are going into depth, so it may be a study that goes into the summer months. We are watching several documentaries, as well as reading several books. Netflix has been a wonderful resource in this area!

Well, I am off to research dryers. Ours finally dried its last this morning!
Have a great evening!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's been going on?

It has been so long since I have posted an entry to my blog. I have missed it, but I just couldn't decide which direction I wanted this blog to take. I started this blog to journal our family's daily activities. I want to keep it that way. I absolutely love everything about being a wife and mother. Now, that is not to say that everyday is just super smooth, but I love being a keeper of my home and of my family. I love our homeschooling lifestyle. We are learning so much together and having a great time along the way. So, I feel re-energized to just go blogging crazy!! Today was a cold day here in Georgia. We have been feeling a little tired lately, so we took school at our own pace today. We snuggled in quilts to read and discuss history. We are using Sonlight to study American History. We love to read, so this curriculum suits us well. After reading, it seemed like a great time to pop popcorn and enjoy some hot chocolate. We have been on this fad lately about putting flavored creamer in our hot chocolate. We had never done this until a couple of months ago. Boy, have we been missing out! Now I see why all my fellow couponers were so glad to see the Coffeemate coupons.
Last night was my son's Civil Air Patrol banquet. It was a nice event with some great food. It was potluck, which I love. I enjoyed getting to learn some more about CAP.

My son enjoyed getting to visit with friends, and I enjoyed getting to visit with friends also!!

The cadets looked very professional in their uniforms. They also conducted themselves in a very professional way. Very refreshing....
I am off now to read.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Eat From The Pantry Challenge, CVS Savings

I apologize for the very fuzzy picture, but I want to show my CVS savings from this week. I was able to get Listerine Mouthwash, 2 boxes of Imodium, 2 bottles of nail polish, lip gloss, 2 compartments of eye shadow, and makeup foundation, all for $14.96 out of pocket. It should have been even less, as I noticed later that one of the nail polish bottles didn't ring up as discounted. Lesson learned, keep better track of it while checking out, but even so, it was a really good savings. This would have cost $62.05 without discounts and coupons! The make-up was 75% off and I had coupons for the Imodium. Also, if you bought 2 specific SC Johnson products you got the Listerine free ( $4.99 value ).

I also wanted to post my menu for this week of the pantry challenge. This is turning out to be a really great challenge. It challenges me to organize my pantry and freezer, but also to get a little creative with some meals.

Monday- Breakfast night- Scrambled eggs, bacon, chocolate chip muffins, juice, tea

Tuesday- My mother-in-law called and wanted to take us out to eat!!!

Wednesday- Vegetable beef soup in the crock-pot topped with shredded cheese, tea, water

Thursday- Spaghetti, garlic bread, green salad, tea, water

Friday- Homemade pizza, chips & salsa, tea, coke

Saturday- Chili in the crock-pot, crackers, tea, water

I will give my weekly grocery tally on Saturday. So far, this week has been good in the fact that most of the menu I was able to make from pantry/freezer items. I will be checking the sales to see what is at rock bottom prices and stocking up on those items, as well as getting some eggs and milk.

Have a super Thursday!


Monday, January 4, 2010

Eat From The Pantry Challenge

Today I am linking up with and for the Eat From The Pantry Challenge. Since I am cleaning and organizing today, I thought this would be great! For the month of January I will be planning our menus mainly from our cupboards and freezer. What I really like about this challenge, is that it is not about NOT spending any money at the grocery store in January, but about seeing how you can save this month by cutting back at the store and making creative meals from the pantry.
Okay, my goals for this challenge are:
1. To spend no more than $75.00 per week on groceries- I have three teenage boys that eat alot!! Now, my oldest will be back at college next week, so he will be eating off of his meal plan. But, my other two and my husband can go through alot. This will be a real challenge, but I think we can do it!!
2. If a really good sale happens on something we use, I will stock up on that item. I am really trying to build my stockpile, so if something is at rock bottom price, I will get as much of that item as possible.
3. I will get my pantry better organized. I will also come up with a system for keeping track of what is in my freezer.
4. The last three Sundays of the month we will be going out to eat after church. This will come out of our "eating out budget", not our usual grocery budget.
I am looking forward to seeing how others are coming up with meals to meet the challenge. I will post our menu for this week tomorrow after I have worked on our pantry and freezer today.
I'm excited!!

Menu Monday, 365 Project

These are from my 365 project, day three, which of course was yesterday. I did not have a chance to post them yesterday. We enjoyed a wonderful day of worship with a great group of Christians! After morning service, we headed out to do a little shopping. My oldest son mainly received money for Christmas this year, so he was ready to check out some clothes shopping. We first headed to Old Navy. He found some jeans and shorts there. Next we headed to the mall, which was very crowded! He did find a few things at American Eagle. It was nice to just look around and see what clearance finds were out there.
He was able to pick up some new clothes, which was nice. It was really cold out yesterday, so I was glad to get back in the warmth and comfort of home.
It was great to be able to spend this time with him, as he goes back to college next week. It has been wonderful to have everyone home, enjoying movies and board games together. This Christmas season has been a fantastic one, mainly because we were all able to enjoy it together and because we had some great times with extended family.
Today, I hope to get alot of cleaning and organizing accomplished. I need to run to CVS and pick up a couple of items. I have a $5.00 off $25.00 coupon that expires today, so I want to make good use of that! They are having a cosmetics sale that I would like to take advantage of.
Tomorrow we "formally" start back to school. Learning, in my opinion, never "stops". But, our regular school routine will begin again! I feel we are all refreshed and ready to go.
Happy Monday!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Bringing in The New Year

One of our family's big goals this year is to be better stewards of the money that God has entrusted to us. Recently, I have been couponing and I have to say, IT WORKS!!! Now, I am not couponing like I use to in the past, with one or two coupons here and there, but I researched some great sites on the web and couponing has now gone to the next level. It takes a little time to get in the groove to use coupons to one's best advantage, but I think I am getting closer on that end. This is making all shopping so much more fun. I finally feel like I am winning in not only the grocery game, but the clothes shopping, gift shopping, etc. It takes some work, but I feel that is my job as the main shopper of the house--to be on the winning side of this game! Food Lion had a sale on chicken and cereal, so I headed out with coupons in hand to take advantage of a few sales. Also, as part of my 365 project, I added photos of my shopping journey:)

This is not a great picture of my receipt, but I ended up with about 50% savings today. I had a total savings of $42.56. My total out of pocket with tax was $44.99. I had a $1.00 coupon on Swiss Miss Hot Chocolate Mix and Food Lion had it on sale for $1.00 a box!! Also, they had their store brand hot chocolate mix on sale for .89 cents and I had a coupon for $2.00 off of 2 boxes, so I actually had overage on this!! I had to pick up some dog and cat food that I didn't have coupons on, so the freebie and the overages helped on that end.

I really hope to get that percentage of savings up. I am learning to shop with a different mindset, to stockpile and make my menus from my pantry. It is overwhelming at times, but it is also alot of fun to see how much I can save!


Friday, January 1, 2010

Happy New Year!!

Happy New Year! I am so excited about ushering in a new year and a new decade! This year I want to participant in the 365 project. I hope to have the link for the project up by tomorrow, but basically it is about capturing life's daily moments in pictures. I did a little of this last year, but I really want to try and capture the everyday moments more this year. Some people do themes with this. I am not sure yet if I will keep to one particular theme or just record the daily happenings of our life as a family. I will include these pictures in my posts here on this blog. In starting this year of the 365 project, I wanted to reflect on some milestones of 2009.
We took vacations with both sides of our family in 2009. I absolutely loved this time that we had with both families. The above picture was our December vacation with my side of the family. This is "the cousins". Wonderful memories!
My oldest son started college in 2009. Wow, what a range of emotions that was!!

I had great times with great friends in 2009. This is our Jane Austen book club.

This is our summer vacation with my husband's side of the family. What a great time we had at the beach.

My oldest son turned 18 and my middle son turned 16 in 2009. Milestones:)

My younger sister had her first baby in March of 2009. A beautiful baby boy!

My middle son and my youngest son worked for our state senator in 2009. What a wonderful experience.

We closed out 2009 celebrating with friends from church. We had a great time eating, playing games, and just visiting!

The kitchen was a popular spot:)

This picture warms my heart. To see my son having a great time with friends and family!
I thank the Lord for my family and friends. They are wonderful! I look forward to the 365 project and capturing what I sometimes see as the normal in our everyday happenings.